Stroud makes run at Matsuyama, Kisner as PGA resumes

Charlotte: Chris Stroud, the last qualifier for the PGA Championship after winning last weekend, was looking to challenge co-leaders Hideki Matsuyama and Kevin Kisner as the PGA Championship resumed on Saturday.
Third-ranked Matsuyama, trying to become the first Japanese man to win a major title, and 25th-ranked American Kisner, who won his second US tour title in May at Colonial, shared the second-round lead at Quail Hollow on eight-under par 134.
“This is my first experience leading a major, or tied for the lead after 36 holes,” Matsuyama said.
“So being a new experience, maybe I’ll be a little nervous, but on the other hand, I’m looking forward to the weekend and seeing how I do.”
A storm delay on Friday forced 25 golfers to return on Saturday morning to complete their second round, including Stroud, who was on five-under with five holes to play and in the best position to threaten the leaders.
The 35-year-old American won last week’s US PGA Tour Barracuda Championship to earn his place in the field for his first major start since the 2014 PGA, only the ninth major of his career and just the third in which he will make the cut.
“I don’t care if I win anymore,” Stroud said.
“I want to win but I can’t let that be on my shoulders all the time. I’m not going to worry about it. I’m going to play the best I can and let’s just ride this out.
“I don’t know if I’m good enough to win or keep my card. And since I surrendered to that, it’s like all the weight is off my shoulders.”
He added: “I’m just going to do the best I can and have as much fun as I can. All of a sudden it falls in my lap.”
Last weekend’s other big winner was Matsuyama, who fired a closing 61 to capture the World Golf Championships event in Akron, Ohio, and serve notice he was ready to challenge for a major title after a US Open runner-up effort in June.
“I’m riding the momentum from the round that I had on Sunday,” Matusyama said after completing a second-round 64. “Hopefully I can keep that going for 36 more holes.”
With a chance of more storms in the weekend forecast, Saturday’s third round will be played in threesomes, with Matsuyama and Kisner to be joined by Australia’s seventh-ranked Jason Day unless Stroud can force his way into the last trio.
Day was third at 136, two adrift, after racing to a 66 on Friday, completing his round just before darkness fell. Day, who won the 2015 PGA and finished second last year, sees Matsuyama as a major threat for back-to-back titles.
“He’s working hard. And I feel like he’s the hardest worker out here right now, just because he wants to win,” said Day.
“And there’s no surprise that he’s obviously won last week and he’s up here again.” — AFP

Share Button